Get your groove on

Move over hip-hop! A group of dancers have made it their mission to bring the Dancehall genre of dancing.

If you haven’t heard of a dance genre called Dancehall, you’re not alone. But, a group of dancers from different walks of life — copywriter Anjaly Ariyanayagam, production supervisor Aarthi Bakthavathsalam, model Fan Mei Ling and graphic designer Maryann, have all set out to make it popular. They recently created a stir on social media with videos of them doing this routine.

A Jamaican form of dance, Dancehall originated in the 1970s and has since made it into Europe and commercial western music — think Major Lazer and Sean Paul. Maryann tells us more, “The style has several movements that Dancehall pioneers created years ago, and even today people are coming up with new moves for the rest of the world to learn.”

So how does Chennai figure in the scene? “Well, the scene in the city hasn’t kicked in yet. People know of the dance style, but I’ve not noticed many people getting into it. I’m looking forward to collaborating with more Dancehall enthusiasts to promote it here,” she says. She even has plans to conduct a workshop soon.

Mei Ling, another member of the group believes that the style hasn’t picked up because of the lack of exposure — “The reason Chennai doesn’t have a lot of Dancehall unlike Bengaluru and Mumbai is probably because a lot of dancers in those cities interact with other crews, large dance companies and also introduce peopel to new styles of dancing — something which Chennai hasn’t been able to do. But we do see a rising interest. I’ve been wanting to create more videos and probably might just start a YouTube channel so that people can watch our videos and learn through them.”

The dance form has also equally mesmerised Krishna Prashanth, a social media marketing manager and dancer. “Most modern hip-hop moves have their base in African dance and when I learnt this, I got more interested in Dancehall. I love the groove of the music as well as the dance. In the past year I’ve seen more dancers in the city pick it up and I hope in the next couple of years we’ll see professional Dancehall performers.”

DJ Vinod Karthik aka Veekay, known for playing some brilliant Dancehall tracks shares insights into the music scene, “ Most people here enjoy Dancehall but I doubt if anyone can name the genre. But amongst dancers, it has become popular. I think performing Dancehall remixes of commercial music will open avenues for lesser known Dancehall artists.” So, put your dancing shoes on, Dancehall may just be your next favourite genre of dance!

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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